Game Notes 8/5; Steals, Steals & Steals, Plus Strikeouts
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Peoria Chiefs (A, Cardinals) for the third time during the 2017 season. The LumberKings lead the all-time series 235–207, dating back to 1983, and lead against Wisconsin 74–67, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings dropped two of the first three games in the Clinton June 2–4. In their last meeting Clinton took three of four games from the Chiefs June 9–12 including a dramatic come from behind win in the series finale, winning 7–6.
LumberKings Starter: Danny Garcia, 23, makes his 23 appearance and 20 start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Miami Florida native, took the loss his last time out for a six-inning outing against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Garcia threw the ball well and held the Kernels to a two-run home run but received no backing from his offense who were shutout 2–0 for the second time during the four-game series in Cedar Rapids. He takes a four game losing streak into the start and will make his third appearance of the year against the Peoria Chiefs. Garcia earned a win in relief against Peoria on June 2 in Clinton and then made a start in Peoria and was hit hard but received a no decision on June 12. The lefty was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 15th round in the 2016 MLB draft out of the University of Miami where he pitched twice in the College World Series in Omaha.
Chiefs Starter: Evan Kruczynski, 22, makes his eighth appearance and start of the season Peoria Chiefs. The East Carolina product took the loss his last time out in a home start against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He worked 5.1 allowed two runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out three. Kruczynski was not with the Chiefs when the LumberKings last played Peoria, selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of East Carolina University. A Wisconsin native he overcame a broken in his leg his senior year in his third start of the season. Kruczynski still managed to make 10 appearances and go 4–3 with a 4.47 ERA for the Pirates. Prior to the injury, the Wisconsin native had established himself as a staff ace going a 20–8 with an 2.01 ERA during the 2016 season. His professional debut came with the Chiefs on June 27 against the Beloit Snappers. He threw four shutout innings in his debut and walked none while striking out two.
Last Time Out: The Clinton LumberKings held four different leads, the last dropping the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8–7 in 11 innings on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field. At one point, Clinton (17–24, 48–60) held a five-run lead but failed to hold on, taking the series deciding game in 11 innings. The scoring started for the LumbeKings in the first inning when Jhombeyker Morales doubled with one out off Wisconsin (18–23, 44–65) starter Victor Diaz. A Joe Rizzo ground out and Diaz wild pitch scored Morales for the first run of the game. The first lead of the night was quickly erased in the bottom of the first inning. Keston Hirua doubled home Dallas Carroll to tie the game. In the top of the third inning, Clinton tallied three runs. Gareth Morgan initiated the scoring with his team leading 12th home run of the year, a solo home run to left. The LumberKings then strung three hits toghter and stole four bases in the inning to take their second lead of the night.
Player of the Week: Gareth Morgan became the first Clinton LumberKing during the 2017 season to earn a Midwest League Player of the week award. Morgan was named the award winner for July 24–30 for batting .615 (6-for-13) to go with an on base percentage of over .700. Included during the torrid pace were two home runs including a game winner on Sunday afternoon in Cedar Rapids. Morgan stole two bases during the week and drove in seven runs.
Setting the bar: Jhombeyker Morales ran at will in the LumberKings 8–7 11 inning win over Wisconsin. Morales stole three bases during the game to set a new professiaonl career high for steal in a single game. The three steals were the second most by a LumberKing in a game this season.
Four times the charm: The Clinton LumberKings had trouble holding leads on Friday night. At one point the LumberKings held a five-run lead, 6–1, but failed to hold it when the Chiefs rallied for four runs in the sixth. The LumberKings held another lead in the bottom of the ninth only to have Seth Elledge blow his second save of the road trip. The fourth and finale lead by the LumberKings came in the 11th which was held for the win.
Gone in a flash: The Clinton LumberKings 8–7 extra inning win one marked by speed. In the top of the second inning, Clinton stole four basses in the inning. It was one of six steals for the LumberKings in the game, the most by the LumberKings in a single game this season.
K streak: It took 11 innings but the Clinton LumberKings used five pitchers to register 16 strikeouts against the Peoria Chiefs. Ryne Inman led the way with struck out eight, the second most in his professional career, and was followed by several other K’s. The 16 strikeout were the second most in a game by the LumberKings this season.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1935, on a very rainy Monday afternoon at Fenway Park, the Yankees and Red Sox engage in stalling and hurry-up tactics trying to take advantage of the inclement weather. American League president John Heydler will fine both managers, Joe Cronin (Boston) and Joe McCarthy (New York), $100 for their antics during the Bronx Bombers’ eventual 10–2 victory.
Broadcast Information: All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App with Erik Oas, in his first season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”